Hello mid-September, and welcome to the Secret Supper Club where you are bound to be inspired to become the healthiest you.
In this edition I am sharing my fermented veggie recipes that are brimming with probiotics and not only fight aging, but boost your immune system and energy levels. I am also sharing one of my favourite articles from Mind Body Green on which foods to avoid and include for youthful, radiant skin.
It's possible to erase years from your face simply by changing your diet. I know this first-hand because ten years ago, I didn't look younger than my age. In fact, I was starting to look wrinkly, washed-out and old. So I changed my lifestyle and cut out pro-aging foods like sugar and grains, and started eating a natural, primal diet to slow the aging process. And when I focused on eating anti-aging superfoods, I started to reverse the signs of aging — especially in my face. What's more, I've seen this same transformation over and over again in my patients. When they add these superfoods to their diets, they start looking younger almost immediately and over time, they often reverse more than a decade of aging. Here are the most powerful wrinkle-fighting foods I've discovered through my clinical and personal experience. If you want soft, young-looking skin, I recommend making them the core of your beauty ritual.
#1 Bone Broth
Wrinkles form when your skin breaks down. To erase these wrinkles, you need to boost your collagen levels not by rubbing on creams, but by mainlining collagen directly to your cells. How? With collagen-rich bone broth (Read more in our first spring edition). Bone broth is better than wrinkle creams or Botox because it lasts.
#2 Foods rich in omega-3's
Think of aging skin cells as slightly deflated balls. Omega-3 fatty acids plump up the walls of these cells, making them bouncy again. To get plenty of omega-3s, eat fatty fish and walnuts, or take a high-quality omega-3 supplement.
#3 Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of collagen and elastin, which are both vital to healthy skin. A diet high in essential amino acids (which the body can't make on its own) helps keep your skin firm and elastic, while a deficiency makes it thin and dry. Meat and eggs are your best sources for essential amino acids.
#4 Potassium-rich foods
Here's a tip I give my patients: Switch from regular table salt to sea salt. Why? Regular salt pulls water out of your cells, leaving them flabby and prone to promoting wrinkles. But sea salt, which is high in potassium, does just the opposite. It pulls water into your cells, making them firm. You can also get skin-hydrating potassium from fruits and veggies, nuts, meat, poultry and fish.
#5 Fermented foods
A radiant gut translates into radiant and wrinkle-free skin, while a bad gut is a leading cause of skin aging. That's because good gut bacteria help keep your body well supplied with the nutrients your skin thrives on. Bad bacteria, on the other hand, can cause a leaky gut and allow toxins to escape your intestines and create inflammation throughout your body — including your skin. The result? Sick, blotchy, old-looking skin. To improve your gut health, eat fermented foods like kimchee, kvass or my simple and delicious mixed veggie ferment below. Make sure you buy refrigerated brands, which contain large amounts of live bacteria.
#6 Green and yellow vegetables
Vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, helping prevent oxidative stress (damage to cells caused by free radicals). So it's not surprising that a study of Japanese women found that a higher intake of green and yellow vegetables (along with a higher intake of healthy fats) reduces wrinkling.
#7 Green Tea
Like veggies, green tea is loaded with antioxidants. Research shows that it protects your skin against sun damage — the primary cause of wrinkles.
Wrinkle-fighting foods protect your skin in a variety of ways. Some them hydrate your skin, some build strong cell walls, some guard against sun damage, while others protect against free radicals. What's more, these foods often work together, boosting each other's power. Combine them, and you'll get far more wrinkle-fighting power than each one offers on its own. So if you're serious about looking younger than you are, add all of these foods to your diet — and eat them daily if you can. My guess is that within days, you'll start to see a difference and within months, your skin will look so much youngerthat people may start asking: "Did you have a facelift?"
Fills one preserving jar
1 large savoy cabbage or Napa cabbage
¼ cup of sea salt
Filtered water (see instructions for amount)
2 cloves of finely grated garlic
1 small (thumb size) knob of finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoon of fish sauce (can be replaced with water)
1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon of red pepper or chilli flakes
6 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
You will need:
Silicone / surgical gloves (optional)
Sterilised preserving jar
Remove the core from the cabbage and then slice it in 2.5cm wide ribbons, lengthways. Add the cabbage and salt to the largest bowl in your kitchen, start massaging (wearing the gloves) the salt into the cabbage until the cabbage releases some fluid and begins to soften.
Next add enough water to cover the top layer of cabbage and next put a plate with something heavy to weigh it down on top like a jar of preserves for example. Leave it to stand this way for 1 hour.
After 1 hour has passed, rinse the cabbage under cold water twice, then let it drain in a colander and set it aside for using later.
Start on making the paste by mixing the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, water, sugar and red pepper together in a bowl to form a paste.
Gently squeeze/ press any remaining water from the cabbage and then return it to your large bowl along with the spring onions and paste. Using your hands (and this is where the gloves come in handy, gently work the paste into the cabbage and onions thoroughly.
Once all the cabbage is coated evenly transfer it to a preserving jar, packing it tightly and pressing down onto the top surface when the jar is filled so that the saucy brine covers the surface of the cabbage. Also be sure to leave at least 2cm of ‘headspace’ above the surface of the brine/sauce.
Storing & fermenting: Then seal the jar well with its lid and store the fermenting kimchi at room temperature for 2-5 days, it depends on the season and you should open the jars once a day to let it release its gasses (you read right 🙂 ) and press down on the cabbage to ensure it is still submerged under the brine/ sauce. Also, be warned, Kimchi can be smelly whilst fermenting it has a typically strong smell due to the garlic, fish sauce and onions. After 2 days (in summer) 4-5 days (in winter) of room temperature fermenting, transfer the jars to the fridge and start enjoying this wildly delicious condiment with meals.
Simple cultured vegetables:
3 large organic carrots, washed but not peeled
1 small head of organic red cabbage
1.5 tablespoons of sea salt
Filtered water, boiled (see instructions for the quantity)
1 preserving jar
Using organic carrots is important as you want to ovoid the pesticides and reap the benefits of the extra nutrition in organic carrots multiplying during the fermenting. Start by grating the thoroughly washed carrots, and then remove the core and outer layers of the red cabbage, shredding the rest in a food processor.
Mix both the grated & shredded cabbage in a large bowl and then pack it tightly into sterilised preserving jars, leaving at least 2 cm head space at the top. Lastly fill the jar with the brine water (dissolve the salt properly in boiled water before adding the water to the jar). The brine should cover the surface of the vegetables. See below for fermenting & storing instructions
4-6 medium organic beetroot, quartered
1.5 tablespoons of sea salt
Filtered water, boiled (see instructions for the quantity)
1 large preserving jar
With a vegetable brush, scrub the beetroot thoroughly and then top, tail and quarter them, leaving their skin on and then pack them into the jar.
Lastly fill the jar with the brine water (dissolve the salt properly in boiled water before adding the water to the jar). The brine should cover the surface of the Beetroot.
Storing & fermenting Simple Cultured Vegetables & Kvass:
Then seal the jar well with its lid and store the fermenting vegetables at room temperature for 2-5 days, it depends on the season and you should open the jars once a day to let it release its gasses and press down on the veggies to ensure it is still submerged under the brine. After 2 days (in summer) and 4-5 days (in winter) of room temperature fermenting, transfer the jars to the fridge and start enjoying the fermented vegetables with meals. The vegetables will acquire a tart, pickled taste.
Health Benefits of fermented vegetables and kimchi
Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean delicacy, it is crammed with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants that multiply during the fermentation process. But the best part about Kimchi or any other fermented vegetables is that it is an extremely rich source of probiotics, or otherwise known as beneficial micro-flora in the form of Lactobacillus which is hugely important for good digestion and an a strong immune system. Kvass is particularly good for liver cleansing and in the case of Kvass the brine as well as the beetroot pieces is consumed.
The Real Things Green Powder Supplement
Get this great wholefood supplement in a convenient tablet form. It’s full of green things from land, sea and fresh water; organic wheat, barley and alfalfa grasses; seven sea vegetables AND chlorella. Now that’s powerful. https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/the-real-thing-green-power-tablets
Oh-Mega Almond Butter Sachets – high in Omega 3 and other good fats, this fabulous product also comes in handy sachets for a power snack on the go.
This is a 100% natural nut butter that is thick, rich and deliciously smooth. Slightly sweet with a velvety texture, Oh Mega’s almond butter is the perfect alternative to peanut butter. Packed with protein and essential minerals, it’s incredibly good for you. Spread it over toast in the morning, use it when you’re baking, add a dash to your smoothies or even use it to give another flavour dimension to your salad dressings. A tasty, wholesome spread your family will love. Proudly South African. https://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/oh-mega-almond-nut-butter